For Sunday February 26, 2023
Sunday class between services (9:15-10:15 AM) in library discussing Henri Nouwen’s book, The Way of the Heart, Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry with Rev. Tom Clarke.
- Sunday class between services (9:15-10:15 AM) in Parish Hall on the Diaconate (What is a Deacon?) for those discerning a call and for those just curious with a variety of teachers.
- Tuesday evening class in library (5:00-7:30 PM) Opera Night: Resurrection in Erich Korngold’s Die tote Stadt (The Dead City)and Das Wunder der Heliane (The Miracle of Heliane) with teacher Joseph Casazza.
- Wednesday lunch class in library (11:00 AM-12:30 PM) on 30 Poems for Lent with teacher Ken Ballard.
- Wednesdays at 6:00 PMis our simple spoken mass. During Lent, we will be using Rite I. The church will be open for the hour prior (5:00-6:00 PM) for contemplative silent prayer.
- Wednesday evening class after Eucharist in the church (6:30-8:00 PM) on a Lenten Play: “Joan of Arc” with teachers Mick Welsh and Lou Armentrout.
- Mondays – Thursdays in Lent, log onto St. Paul’s Facebook page at 10:00 AM to join our Co-Rectors for Morning Prayer.
- Saturday, March 4 (9:00 AM-12:00 Noon) – Preparing for the End-of-Life morning retreat with Co-Rectors and several retired clergy.
- Schedule a time for Confession (see The Reconciliation of a Penitent).
- Join us in getting rid of stuff to make space (see #40BagsIn40Days).
See additional information regarding these offerings detailed below.
Lenten Spiritual Formation Opportunities 2023
SUNDAYS from 9:15-10:15AM in the LIBRARY w/ the Rev. Cannon Tom Clarke
*note: class is the first four Sundays of Lent—2/26; 3/5; 3/12; and 3/19
Discuss Henri Nouwen’s book, The Way of the Heart, Desert Spirituality and Contemporary Ministry
Henry J.M. Nowuen, one of the greatest of all spiritual writers, invites us to search deeply for the well-springs that nourish true ministry in his classic The Way of the Heart. Interweaving the solitude, silence, and prayer of the fifth-century Egyptian Desert Fathers and Mothers with our contemporary search for an authentic spirituality, The Way of the Heart not only leads us to a fuller encounter with God, but to a more creative ministry with our fellow human beings. Here is one of the most profound works from a writer known for his fresh and perceptive insights—and who stands alongside C.S. Lewis and Thomas Merton as an essential Christian scholar and thinker. This short book with just a prologue and chapters on Solitude, Silence, Prayer and Epilogue is only 100 pages, and lends to a focused class. For questions, please reach out to
SUNDAYS from 9:15 – 10:15AM in the PARISH HALL w/ Variety of Teachers
*note: class is the first four Sundays of Lent—2/26; 3/5; 3/12; and 3/19)
What is a Deacon? Class (for those discerning a call and for those just curious)
While many of us can picture a priest, a bishop, or a lay person, most people in the church scratch their heads when they hear the word “deacon.” What is a deacon? How might this misunderstood order for ministry be the missing link in St. Paul’s living into its full potential? Using Being a Deacon Today: Exploring a Distinctive Ministry in the Church and in the World by Rosalind Brown, we will explore the many facets of what it means to be a vocational deacon and how all Christians can support those called to the vocational diaconate and help carry out the unique work of a deacon.
Feb 26 – Introduction
Mar 5th – The Location of Diaconal Ministry
Mar 12th – The Shape of Diaconal Ministry
Mar 19th – The Groundwork of Diaconal Ministry
TUESDAYS from 5:00 – 7:30PM in the LIBRARY w/ Joseph Casazza
- March 7 and 14 – Die tote Stadt (The Dead City)
- March 21 and 28 – Das Wunder der Heliane (The Miracle of Heliane)
We will watch recorded performances of Erich Korngold’s Die tote Stadt (The Dead City) and Das Wunder der Heliane (The Miracle of Heliane), each opera divided in half, about an hour and fifteen minutes of opera at a time, each opera sung in German with English subtitles, with a discussion of a half hour to an hour to explore the theme of resurrection in the operas. Please bring some snacking food for yourself and some to share. For questions, please reach out to
Joseph Casazza received his AB from Harvard University his MA from the University of Texas at Austin. He has taught in private schools and has been a staff member of the Harvard University libraries, The Library of Congress, and The Congressional Research Service.
WEDNESDAYS from 11:00AM – 12:30PM in the LIBRARY w/ Ken Ballard
30 Poems for Lent
St. Paul’s 30 Poems for Lent, starting March 1st, will examine some of life’s most nagging and baffling imponderables. But Dietrich Bonhoeffer, David Bottom, Anya Krugovoy Silver, Jack Gilbert, Kwame Dawes, R. S. Thomas, and others don’t so much answer questions about the nature of salvation, the meaning of prayer, or how faith can be fleeting; as highlighting the difficulty of grasping what being in a relationship to God means. Given such dreadful seriousness, one might expect that the most satisfying aspect of our first ever Poetry and Brown Bags poetry series will be our brown bag lunches. Anyone for a quinoa, tuna, and chickpea salad? Or the more basic peanut and jelly? But the doubters will be proven wrong. As Hobbes realized, God does have a goofy sense of humor. And since we share that trait, the poems and our reaction to them will have us laughing an inordinate amount, at least during Lent, of the time. Though the same poems might have us baffled, awe struck, deeply appreciative, or even more closely connected to each other. So please join us, every Wednesday through March, at 11:00 am in the church’s library. For questions, please reach out to
Ken Ballard and his husband, Dale Carr, moved to Palm Springs last October, with the hope of being permanent, year-round residents. Over the last twenty plus years, Ken has enjoyed sharing poetry with a wide range of groups. First with the non-profit Write Around Portland, where he met with homeless teenagers, people with AIDS, elementary school kids, and those suffering from chronic mental illnesses. Then at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, also in Portland, he hosted at least one poetry series every year since 2010. And for the last three years, since the start of the pandemic, he’s facilitated a weekly Zoom Poetry for St. Stephen’s. But truth be told, he’s more obsessed with baseball and the start of spring training than Mary Oliver or Danez Smith.
WEDNESDAYS from 6:30 -8:00 PM in the CHURCH
w/ Mick Welch & Lou Armentrout
“Joan of Arc” Lenten Play
Do you want to meet one of the GREATEST SAINTS that has ever lived? Join us this Lent for a study group that will read aloud Armentrout and Welch’s “JOAN OF ARC”, an easy-to-read play that we’ll do in five parts each Wednesday, after Mass, in Lent. As we become the people in Joan’s life, we’ll see how she lived out her SACRED MISSION, and we’ll talk how each of us can do the same.
Preparing for the End of Life: Plan Your Own Funeral
Saturday, March 4, 2023, 9:00 AM – 12:00 Noon, in the church (coffee and donuts served 8:30 – 9:00 AM). Thoughtfully led by our Co-Rectors and retired clergy, explore planning your funeral, final things, legacy, and more.
Come and bring your questions and learn how to prepare in ways that honor our living legacies, give our framework for funerals in the Episcopal tradition, and provide comfort to our loved ones that they will best know how to honor our wishes. Believe it or not, it will be a fun and interesting morning and we hope you will join us!
The Lenten Safe Church Challenge
As we implement St. Paul’s Strategic Plan, one of the first core values the Vestry and Co-rectors want to address is “Safety and Care.” We want St. Paul’s to be the safest church in the Coachella Valley and the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego.
To that end, we want all to be safe from physical danger – but also safe from discrimination, safe from emotionally hurtful actions, and safe from simply being ignored. Jesus calls us to love one another and, thus, care for one another.
The Episcopal Church has developed an online learning tool, “Safe Church – Safe Communities,” that replaces “Safeguarding God’s People.” This is a completely new course and includes two (2) modules mandated by the State of California. The Episcopal Church requires that all clergy, staff and volunteers (e.g. vestry, ministry leaders, Sunday School teachers, office volunteers, ushers, altar ministers, altar guild, etc.) be certified in this course. Compliance with this requirement is a high priority for St. Paul’s.
We’re challenging all those required to take this course to complete its curriculum by Sunday, April 2nd, Palm Sunday. You’ll be receiving more information in the coming days from the Parish Office if this requirement applies to you. We suggest you make it a part of your Lenten spiritual journey.
St. Paul’s was recently named a finalist in The Desert Sun Best of Desert competition in the best “Place to Worship” category. Let’s all do our part to make sure we’re also know as a safe place to worship.
February is Black History Month
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, and every American President since has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The theme for 2023 is “Black Resistance” and “explores how African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression in all forms,” since the nation’s earliest days.
Throughout February, St. Paul’s will honor these Black Saints:
- February 5 – The Rev. George Freeman Bragg
- February 12 – The Rev. Absalom Jones
- February 19 – The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray
- February 26 – Frances Joseph-Gaudet
UPDATE: St. Paul’s Parish Directory – 2023
Looking to pick up your new directory?
You can stop by the church office Monday – Thursday from 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM and check in with our volunteer at the front desk. You’ll be asked to sign the log to receive one (1) directory per household.
Need to update your household directory information?
If you find your information is not current or is missing, first, thank a volunteer for putting this directory together out of the goodness of their hearts (and thank the photographers for doing this pro bono too!). Then, EMAIL your correct information to . Make sure you write Attn. Photo Directory Update in the subject line. The updates will be gathered and published in The Abundant Life each week, so you can flip to the back few pages of your directory and add them. NO UPDATES will be published in the newsletter unless emailed to
Thank you to our volunteers who have been working on this project for the past eight months! Now get your directory and flip through it to see all God’s beloved children!
You are invited to the church on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 PM each week for contemplative Eucharist/Evening Prayer. During Lent, our Wednesday services will be Rite I.
The church will be open the hour prior (5:00-6:00 PM) for silent, personal prayer. Come and rest.
St Paul’s Book Club
The next Book Club meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 7, 2023, at 1:00 PM via Zoom. Meeting information will follow later. For March, Book Club has selected The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore. The true story of two kids with the same name from the same city: One went on to be a Rhodes Scholar, decorated combat veteran, White House Fellow, and business leader. The other is serving a life sentence in prison. Told in alternating dramatic narratives, it tells the story of a generation of boys trying to find their way in a hostile world.
Prayers of the Church
For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby; for The Scottish Episcopal Church, The Most Reverend Mark Strange, Primus (Presiding Bishop).
For the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina, The Right Reverend Ruth Woodliff-Stanley, Bishop.
For the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, The Right Reverend Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for the clergy and people of Sts. Peter and Paul, El Centro; for the students, teachers, and staff of The Bishop’s School, La Jolla; for our bishop and all other bishops attending the House of Bishops Spring Meeting.
Prayer for those affected by the earthquakes in Turkey and Syria – Comfort them, Lord, in this disaster. Be their rock when the earth refuses to stand still and shelter them under your wings when homes no longer exist. Embrace in your arms those who died so suddenly. Console the hearts of those who mourn and ease the pain of bodies on the brink of death. Lord, bring them comfort, strength, and renewed hope. Amen.
For those commended to our prayers: President Jimmy Carter, Jessica Scott, Marie Ratnam, Bruce Berlage, Dick Cushing, Judy Roa, Lisa & Tony Porto, The family of Susan W., Teresa Ball, Joel Cutler, Paula Davis, Justin, Monique, Dirk Beach-Barrow, Matthew Patton, Ken Smithler, Russ Butler, Omana, Missy Martinson, Eliott Kahn, Marna & Rick Hill, Stan Spooner, Frank Riviers, Amber Burns, John Ketchum, Ashley Mount Family, Bert M., Darlene Noon, Charles Russuel Thomas, Jr., Tim Johnson, Bret Caton, AJ Miller, Tom Lutgen, Brian Nealy; pray for all those for whom no prayers have been said.
For those who have died: Dennis Barajas, Billy Kiker, Margaret Phillips, Gary Koch, Rita Leary, Deborah Caraway, Betty Burris. Rest eternal grant to these, your servants, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
For those with birthdays: February 26: Ray Kelley, Jay Wilson; February 27: Donald Willard; February 28: Stephen Geist, Roberto Thais; March 1: John Ketchum; March 2: James Nindel; March 3: Rose Coslett, Craig Ewing; March 4: Kara Knutson.
For those celebrating their anniversary: March 2: Stan Deller & David Weir.
During Lent the altar is not to be decorated with flowers.
For next Sunday’s Lectionary readings, go to www.lectionarypage.net and click on March 5, 2023, The Second Sunday in Lent.
Upcoming Meetings & Events at St Paul’s
- Sunday, February 26 – 9:15 AM-10:15 AM – Library – Henri Nouwen book study class.
- Sunday, February 26 – 9:15 AM-10:15 AM – Parish Hall – Deacon class.
- Sunday, February 26 – 12:00 PM-2:00 PM – Library – “Last Call” library open house.
- Tuesday, February 28 – 5:00 PM-7:30 PM – Library – Opera Night
- Wednesday, March 1 – 11:00 AM-12:30 PM – Library – 30 Poems for Lent class.
- Wednesday, March 1 – 6:30 PM-8:00 PM – Church – “Joan of Arc” Lenten play.
- Saturday, March 4 – 9:00 AM-12:00 PM – Church – Lenten Retreat – Plan Your Own Funeral.
- Saturday, March 18 – 6:00 PM – Parish Hall – Movie Night – “Chocolat.”
- Monday, March 20 – 6:00 PM – Library – Finance Committee
- Thursday, March 23 – 6:30 PM – Library – Vestry
The Reconciliation of a Penitent: Remembering Confession in Lent
The Book of Common Prayer contains two orders of service for private confession, known officially as the Reconciliation of a Penitent. Making a private confession is a traditional and powerful spiritual practice, and the choice to confess or not confess to a priest is governed by the old adage: All may, some should, none must. This Lent, Rev. Jessie and Rev. Dan will be reserving time for hearing confessions and will be available by appointment. If you would like resources or help preparing for confession, or if you would like to set up a time for this sacrament, please email or
Reconciliation of a Penitent: What Is It and What Can I Expect if I Try It?
Here is an excerpt from the Rev. Hillary Raining’s book, Joy in Confession: Reclaiming Sacramental Reconciliation:
Reconciliation of a Penitent Explained
The theological explanation of reconciliation is both complicated and simple. At its heart, reconciliation is the very cornerstone of our faith—the love of God proclaimed in the forgiveness and healing offered to us by Jesus. We often hear the phrases “Jesus died for our sins” or “Jesus died to save you.” Yet, understanding how that forgiveness works in our day-to-day life can be difficult. The Rite of Reconciliation exists so that we can live into the forgiving action of Jesus as found in his Body, the community of the Church, and as people of God.
In the Episcopal tradition, Reconciliation of a Penitent (as defined in the Book of Common Prayer) it “is the rite in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution.” It is often referred to as “private confession.”
Reconciliation invites us to leave our tombs (our sins and failings) and live the life God calls us to. Reconciliation means we become one again with our Lord and Savior—that we experience the Easter promise of new life. When people truly embrace and practice Reconciliation of a Penitent, they will be transformed—as will the world around them.
What to Expect When Making Confession
Although each location will be different according to your church’s traditions and the style of your confessor, here are some things that you can expect when you make a confession.
- Begin your journey to reconciliation with prayer and self-examination. Knowing that this opportunity is a call to grace and not a call to feel shame, ask God for clarity in those parts of your life that may need healing and change.
- When you feel the desire to seek reconciliation, call your church to make an appointment with your priest or make note of any previously scheduled times of confession that are posted in your church.
- The place where you make your confession will be confidential and sacred. Very few Episcopal churches have confessional booths; however, if yours does, simply enter and either sit or kneel as the priest takes her or his place on the other side of the screen. If your church does not have a booth, you will most likely be invited to kneel at the altar rail or meet with the priest in his or her office. The confessor may sit facing you or in such a way as to not make direct eye contact with you; this may make the moment more comfortable for you and is a sign that your confessor is listening deeply on behalf of God.
- Using one of the reconciliation rites from The Book of Common Prayer, you will confess your sins and ask God for forgiveness. Don’t worry if you can’t remember everything! God knows what is on your heart.
- The priest may offer pastoral conversation and some spiritual practices (such as a psalm, prayer, or hymn to be said or something to do) to offer as a sign of penitence and an act of thanksgiving.
- The priest will then absolve you from your sins and remind you of the wonders of God’s grace and forgiveness that you have received.
- Spend some time in prayer afterward to revel in the freedom and joy that God offers you in this pastoral gift of reconciliation.
The 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge
Searching for a Lenten Practice that will have you looking at what you have, getting rid of what you don’t need, and creating literal space for God’s Spirit to flow and your home to be a place of resurrection?
Join us this Lent with the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge.
You determine the size of the bags, and going through each room, drawer, closet, and cupboard, each day collect the items you don’t need, don’t use, or have too much of and discard, recycle or find a new home for those items. Ask yourself, can I donate my unused clothing to those in need? Do I let food go to waste? Am I spending my money on new possessions when I am not using the ones I have or when I could be helping those in need?
While this might seem a different Lenten practice, Lent is a time of prayer, sacrifice, and self-denial. Getting a little uncomfortable is what Lent does, allowing us a time of confession, reconciliation, and new habits as we deepen our spiritual lives. Clearing out our space isn’t just the new ‘minimalist’ fad. We are called to be good stewards of our things and the more things we have, the more energy we take in keeping them up, and the less time we have to spend with those we love and with those we are called to serve. By using/having less and by being less wasteful, we can make more room for prayer and to hear God’s Voice.
Join us. #40bagsin40dayslentchallenge
1 Front porch/steps/yard
3 Hall Closets
4 Kitchen drawers/cabinets
5 Under the kitchen sink
7 Dining room table/shelves/drawers
8 Towels and linen closet/drawers
9 Bathroom closets/drawers/shelves
10 Under the bathroom sink
12 Cleaning supplies
13 Junk drawers
14 Living room shelves/cabinets
15 Family room shelves/cabinets
16 Master bedroom drawers/shelves
17 Bedroom closet
18 Guest room drawers/shelves
19 Guest room closet
21 DVDs/VHS tapes
23 Jewelry/other accessories
24 Kids’ bedroom drawers/shelves
25 Kids’ bedroom closets
26 Dog/cat toys/blankets/etc.
29 Office desk
30 Office shelves/drawers/stacks
31 Craft room drawers/shelves
32 Craft room floor/piles
33 Christmas stuff
34 Other holiday stuff
35 Sports equipment
36 Laundry Room
37 Garage cabinets/shelves
38 Cars (center consoles, floor, trunks, glove compartments, etc.)
39 Back porch/yard
40 All piles of paper
Turkey-Syria Earthquake Response Fund
Episcopal Relief & Development is mobilizing with long-term partners after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake, as well as a 7.5-magnitude aftershock, hit Turkey and Syria on Monday, February 6, 2023. The earthquake killed over 20,000 people and caused widespread damage across the region.
Working through Action by Churches Together Alliance (ACT Alliance), Episcopal Relief & Development is rapidly responding to the disaster through existing networks. The organization is also in contact with other local partners as they assess the needs of their communities.
Episcopal Relief & Development’s partner Action by Churches Together Alliance (ACT Alliance) has:
• Distributed 40,000 winterization kits that include blankets, pajamas and mattresses.
• Provided over 230 buildings, including church halls, mosques, schools, and municipal halls, for shelters.
• Begun setting up child-friendly spaces, assisting in family reunification, and providing emotional support for unaccompanied children.
The local network of partners had supplies and staff prepositioned throughout the region, which allowed for rapid mobilization in the midst of complex weather and transportation conditions. Local partners are continuing to prepare for a long-term, sustained response. Please continue to pray for those who have been affected by the earthquake.
Donations to the Turkey-Syria Earthquake Response Fund will help the organization to continue to respond to communities impacted by this disaster. To make a donation to ERD for Earthquake relief, you may send a check to The Church of St. Paul in the Desert marked “Earthquake Relief” or donate online at https://support.episcopalrelief.org/syria-turkey-earthquake
Church T-Shirts Are In!
Newly designed St. Paul’s T-shirts are now available for purchase at $25 each (cash or check only; correct change appreciated). Available sizes: XL, L and M. Pick yours up at the Parish Office, Monday through Thursday.
If you are marching in the Black History Parade this Sunday, February 26, T-shirts will be available for purchase in the church parking lot at 9:15 AM.
Winter Coat Donations Needed
Now that cooler weather has arrived in the desert, the Social Justice Ministry is seeking donations of new or gently used winter coats and jackets to distribute to our needy neighbors. Winter hats, scarves and gloves are also appreciated. Remember, donated used clothing should first be dry cleaned. Please place your donated items in the collection “barrels” located in the narthex.
Desert Baroque – The Art of Time Concert Series
Time Out! with LOS JUBILADOS, in their Desert Premier, Friday, March 3, 2023, 7:00 PM, The Artists Center at the Galen, 72-567 Hwy 111, Palm Desert, CA. Tickets at EventBrite.com
What happens when a bunch of “pros” on Modern and Baroque instruments step further back in time to replay history? Let’s say that it’s Time Out! The most amazing creations are enacted in sound, soul, and memory. Our program consists of a variety of pieces from various lands: Spain, Italy, England, and Flanders. Please join us for this evening of favorites from time past.
Margaret (Meg) Irwin-Brandon
Founder/Director, Desert Baroque
Sunday Service LiveStreaming
We are livestreaming our 10:30 AM Sunday Eucharist every week. The livestream project was made possible through a generous gift from a “snowbird” member from Philadelphia who wintered in Palm Springs for many years and worshiped at St. Paul’s every Sunday. You can view the livestream on our Home Page, YouTube Channel, and Facebook Page.
Missed a service? Or want to rewatch a liturgy? All our past services are available to watch either on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/StPaulintheDesert or on our Facebook timeline: https://www.facebook.com/stpaulinthedesert
Episcopal News Services
Subscribe to the Weekly Newsletter of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego – The EDSD News is full of event announcements, church news, death notices, clergy changes, bishop-related notes, and current opportunities for service. Go to https://edsd.org/communications/ and scroll to the bottom of the page where you’ll find space to add your name and email address. Then click on SIGN UP TODAY. You’ll receive the EDSD News on Wednesday, every week.
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